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changes to our "voluntary jurisdiction" rules on "eligible complainants"

28 February 2014

As well as transferring the regulation of consumer credit from the OFT to the FCA from 1 April 2014, the government is also making so-called “peer-to-peer” (P2P) lending a “regulated activity”. This means that the eligibility rules of the Financial Ombudsman Service will also be amended to cover complaints about this new regulated activity.

The proposal (on which the FCA and the ombudsman service consulted jointly in October 2013) was to add, at DISP 2.7.6R, a new relationship to the list of eligible relationships covered by the “compulsory jurisdiction” and “voluntary jurisdiction”:

  • “(15) the complainant is a borrower under a P2P agreement and the respondent is the operator of an electronic system in relation to lending’”

The FCA has recently consulted separately on a revised version of this rule for the “compulsory jurisdiction” (changes shown below underlined) . The effect is that borrowers and lenders under a peer-to-peer agreement are both potentially eligible complainants:

  • “(15) the complainant is either a borrower or a lender under a P2P agreement and the respondent is the operator of an electronic system in relation to lending”

In order to maintain the existing alignment of the eligibility of complainants in both the “compulsory jurisdiction” and the “voluntary jurisdiction”, this minor change has been included in the official instrument that we consulted on jointly (Consumer Credit (Consequential and Supplementary Amendments) Instrument 2014). This instrument was adopted by the board of the Financial Ombudsman Service on 19 February 2014 and by the FCA board on 27 February 2014.


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